Reboot Your Mindset with Kevin Geary – Podcast #20
Dr. Justin and Dr. Baris interviewed Kevin Geary, founder of Rebooted Body and discussed the simple principles on how to get and keep the body and life that you love through proper nutrition, functional fitness and behavior psychology.
In this podcast, learn it is not how much you eat but what you eat that makes the difference concerning your health. Find out how a variety of daily activities you enjoy and love to do can keep you active and healthy with the DWYLT concept. Also discover how you can align your behavior and mindset to correct your relationship with your food, your body and yourself for a truly rebooted self.
In this episode we cover:
6:35 Downside of willpower
16:41 DWYLT Concept
23:24 Creating margins in life
34:38 Building self-awareness
46:40 Perspective shifts
Baris Harvey: Welcome to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio. We are so pleased that you guys came in to listen today. Today we have an awesome interview. But before we get into that I just want to remind our listeners, make sure you go to beyondwellnessradio.com. That is where you can find all of our episodes, any show notes that we put up. And we also have links to our sites so if you guys want to come in and contact us we have links to reallyhealthynow.com so that is my site where you can find out more about me and any coaching you want to do with me, health-coaching wise. There are also links to Just In Health which is Dr. Justin’s site. You know, the free thyroid report for you guys. So make sure you guys go there. So on to the interview. Well, first, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?
Justin Marchegiani: Baris, it is going really good today. How was your breakfast this morning? What did you have?
Baris Harvey: I have not had anything yet. I am planning to probably have a giant lunch.
Justin Marchegiani: There you go.
Baris Harvey: Just skip the breakfast but I do have some Teriyaki Chicken that I cooked last night. So, there are some leftover from that. So I will probably have some of that. And yourself?
Justin Marchegiani: Yes. I am not doing a fast today. I had some Bulletproof coffee this morning. I had a kombucha. I did about four eggs Rocky style. So I am ready to go.
Baris Harvey: Oh, yes, sounds good. So today’s episode we have Kevin Geary of Rebooted Life. How is it going today, Kevin?
Kevin Geary: It is going really well. How are you?
Baris Harvey: Doing awesome. So, the first question that we always ask our guest is what got you started in the world of health and fitness and what is like your personal journey?
Kevin Geary: Yes, so back in 2009 I was 220+ pounds and struggling with conventional wisdom and Yoyo dieting like you know, most of America and the rest of the world does. And I was in a physical with a doctor and just getting everything checked up. My wife had said, “Hey, you might want to go get a physical you have not had one in a while.” So I went and it just turned out that things were a little worse than I had thought. So, I had high blood pressure. They were basically telling me that I was a borderline diabetic and that I needed to make some changes. And of course, I have other issues at play. I was having joint pain and some skin issues. So things just were not, you know, looking up for me. And it was about that time I went home talked to my wife and it was like, “I got to do something.” And it is not like I was not trying previously. So I was dieting, I was trying to lose the excess weight. I was trying to get in shape but I just was following broken advice. And I started to just kind of reach out and look for people who are saying something different than what I was already following. And that kind of became my mantra. It was like if I come across somebody and they are saying anything that I have tried before I am just going to move on. I need something that is radically different. Nothing that I am trying is remotely working. So, I came across the Ancestral Health space and I started applying a lot of the principles that I was learning there and really good things started to happen in my life. And I got down to about 175 pounds and then I kind of had a regression. So I had this period of time where my mindset really affected me. I had sugar addiction, of course. I grew up on sugar and processed foods. So that was coming back into play. Just a lot of triggers. Things that were triggering me to, you know, have a disorder relationship with food and not be in control of my eating choices. And I ended up regressing back to about 190 pounds. And then I really started to focus on the mindset and the psychology side of things, that is when like all the pieces came together for me and I ended up getting down to about 165 pounds which I have now maintained since then. And through that process of number one, discovering that I had been lied to and number two, discovering how important psychology is in this process. I kind of have this epiphany where I was like, okay the rest of the world must be told about this. We cannot just continue to keep people in the dark. So I started telling as many people as I knew. People started coming to me because they have seen my transformation. I started working with people. I started a group in Atlanta and designed a curriculum for the group after people told me they wanted to join. And all of that is how Rebooted Body ended up being born. And Rebooted Body was kind of like a thought of okay well this is working really well in Atlanta but I do not just want to reboot Atlanta, like I want to reboot a much bigger sphere than that. And the internet was the obvious place to go to do that.
Baris Harvey: Yes, definitely. And by the way, earlier I did said the Rebooted Life because there seems to be so much more than just, you know.
Kevin Geary: Right, yes, it probably should be called the Rebooted Life. (Laughs)
Baris Harvey: Yes. Definitely. (Laughs) So listeners out there, rebootedbody.com is where you can find the site. A lot of great information and you have a podcast as well that is where you talk a lot of awesome things. So on that point, you are talking about the transition to psychology and one thing that I hear a lot is like willpower, right? About like all you need is just push harder. And it kind of reminds me of like the Biggest Loser. Could you tell how your approach is different than that? And how there can be a lot of negative outcomes to something like the motivational tactics of something like the Biggest Loser versus more of something like you would teach?
Kevin Geary: Yes, so what I teach is under the umbrella of having a healthy relationship with food. And the way that willpower fits into this paradigm, first of all it is important to understand how willpower works. So it is like a cup and people think that okay if I avoid a certain food that might deplete my willpower cup a little bit. And the truth is that, every decision you make, every time you use your brain for any sort of processing that depletes your willpower cup. It does not matter if you are avoiding a certain food or you are having a fight with your spouse or you are having a bad day at work, all of that stress and brain power depletes willpower. So the problem with willpower is that when you need it most in the stressful situations you are probably unlikely to have access to it. Now the cup stays pretty full for a good 21 to 30 days. This is why most people can get through that period, that very short like introduction to this new lifestyle with willpower. So you can use willpower for a short period of time. The problem is, when people think that willpower is some sort of a long-term tool and it is just not. It will always fail long-term and I have outlined eight specific eating triggers. Some of these are physiological triggers, some are psychological triggers that affect people and cause disordered eating habits. And I have made willpower actually one of the triggers. Because what happens is you believe that willpower is a long-term tool and you employ it as such and eventually willpower actually becomes the trigger. Because all that is is a restriction paradigm where you are restricting, restricting, restricting using willpower to continue to restrict something and that ends up in a binge. So the willpower while it is a helpful tool upfront can actually become a trigger for disordered eating if you try to use it long-term. So that is how willpower works. Now, I am sorry, the other half of your question was what again?
Baris Harvey: Kind of like the opposite or how would you look at the approach of something like the Biggest Loser and what kind of these stereotypical model like America, like what we think that we should be doing?
Kevin Geary: Right.
Baris Harvey: Kind of like the go, go, go!
Kevin Geary: Yes, so people on like the Biggest Loser approach or the typical conventional dieting model would use willpower long-term or believe in the willpower myth. And the truth is that they have a disordered relationship with food and need to fix the underlying causes of that. So if they are going to try to use willpower obviously, you know, I believe Biggest Loser there are some contestants that have come out and said, “Yes, this does not work long-term.” Like they always end up regaining the weight, right? And one of the examples that I used to prove this and the thing is like willpower also even though it is not a long-term tool, you do not need it. Because when you fix your relationship with food the need for willpower is completely erased. And this is the example that I give. So, some people have a disordered relationship with shopping. They go to the mall, they walk around the mall and they cannot help but buy stuff, lots of stuff. They go into debt; they just cannot escape the mall without buying stuff. They have a disordered relationship with shopping. Now, myself, I can walk into the mall and I can walk around and look at a whole bunch of stuff and I can make it back to my car every single time without buying a bunch of stuff and without going in debt. Now, is that because I have a bunch of willpower? No, it is because I do not have a disordered relationship with shopping. There are some people who can walk into a buffet and say, “Hmm, I will have a little of this, and a little of that,” and there is no stress and there is no anxiety around that. And there is no overconsumption. It is not because they have a lot of willpower. It is because they do not have a disordered relationship with food. So if we fix that disordered relationship with food we can forget about the willpower paradigm. We can forget about the restriction paradigm. We can just live life and be free of this anxiety.
Justin Marchegiani: That makes a lot of sense there, Kevin. And it kind of sounds like you are kind of gearing the mindset up from an inside out approach where you are calibrating kind of your mindset internally and that affects the outward environment where most people are trying to affect the outward environment to then change their internal environment.
Kevin Geary: Right. So, everybody says that success in health and fitness is like 70 to 80% what you eat and 20% everything else, right? And I tell people to let us zoom out from that because that is once circle but there is a bigger circle that encompasses that and that circle would be that this process is 80% psychology and 20% everything else. So if you can fix your brain, your mind and your emotional self then you start to address all of these other stuff you are really actually going to be able to put what you learn and what you know to use. So right now we have an epidemic of even people who read my blog or read your blog or listen to your podcast or any of the number of resources who are doing amazing work, they are in this inner circle. Where there is like, “Okay, okay, I got it. Food, okay. Exercise and they are trying to apply it. And they are forgetting that bigger circle of psychology.
Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Kevin Geary: And you know what is going to happen is they are going to apply what they are learning for a very short period of time and then the wheels are going to come off their bus. If they would take a step back and work the psychology part first, then everything you are telling them and I am telling them they are going to be able to consistently put to use forever. And that is where freedom really exists.
Justin Marchegiani: It makes a lot of sense. I know in a lot of different spiritual realms or spiritual books they talk about this be-do-have philosophy where you internally change your sense of being on the inside and that then changes your action and then your action then changes what you manifest. So it sounds like we are trying to really recalibrate our “being-ness” if you will. And there is a great book that I read earlier on in my career called, “The Schwarzbein Principle”. And Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, she talked about the fact that most people think they need to lose weight to get healthy. And she kind of changed the causality of that saying you get healthy and then you lose weight. And I think there is even one step added on to that, you change the thought process then your actions start to do the right things to be healthy and then you manifest the weight loss.
Kevin Geary: Yes. Absolutely. And if you look at people’s goals they have that same paradigm, they have this all backwards. They think that when I lose the weight I will be confident. When I lose the weight I will be happy. When I lose the weight I will be X, Y or Z. And the truth is that the weight has nothing to do with that. So I always tell people if you want to change your life then actually change your life. Changing your body is like a side thing, okay? So you are not going to lose weight and suddenly be happier.
Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Kevin Geary: Or suddenly be confident or any of that. That is going to happen through doing legitimate work on yourself not just losing arbitrary amounts of weight. So we have this concept especially in America and in the marketing for all of these programs that if you lose weight you will be happy or X, Y, Z and the truth is that it will do nothing for you. You will lose weight. You will be a smaller a person and you will still be a sad person. You will still be a person riddled with anxiety.
Justin Marchegiani: Now I am going to challenge you in that concept.
Kevin Geary: Yes.
Justin Marchegiani: So, let us say I have a patient whose mindset is there, they are like, “I want to be healthy.” But then they think that being healthy is cutting calories, cutting fat and eating 12 servings of grains a day. So how do you apply that philosophy when someone wants to be, and their “being-ness” is there but the doing part is just totally off-base?
Kevin Geary: Well are they, did they not believe you when you are telling them what to do or giving them an outline? What is the paradigm behind that?
Justin Marchegiani: So I would say the person is just under the belief that this is how you do it because they are getting their information from men’s health or the conventional mainstream. Maybe they have not met someone like me or Baris yet and they are just getting it from the internet or websites that are not as, you know, giving this cutting edge information.
Kevin Geary: Yes. So if you have the right mindset and you are still operating with the wrong advice so we have to think of it as a stool, right? So if you have three legs of a stool and one of those legs is having the right advice, well you have a great mindset and you are doing all of the exercise stuff, let us say you are being active or we can say anti-sedentary. And then the third leg of the stool is this nutrition component that were totally wrong on, well you only have two legs on your stool that stool is not going to stand up.
Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Kevin Geary: Advice is really important. Having the right information is really important. What I try to teach is that the information is not as important as people make it out to be. It is not the be-all and end all, right?
Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Kevin Geary: But absolutely if you have the wrong information you are never going to get there.
Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Makes sense.
Baris Harvey: Yes, definitely. So I want to slightly shift gears where we were talking about kind of like the Be-Do-Have. I really like that and that is actually something that I have on my wall. Like I have a thing that I made and it has that. So I really like that component. I think that is very beneficial.
Kevin Geary: Yeah, me too.
Baris Harvey: And you talked about changing the relationship when it came to your food. And I want to kind of think about exercise as well when we talked about this willpower and we talked about willpower with food. We also talked about how willpower affects like exercise and how do we exercise in order to maintain something that we do want to do. I know with a lot of my friends they might not always go to the gym but a lot of times they play basketball. My girlfriend really likes to play soccer. Like what are some tactics that we can do to like sustain long-term healthy exercise?
Kevin Geary: Right. So I recently wrote an article. I cannot remember the exact title but the concept of the article is called DWYLT. Do what you love today. And it was about ditching exercise in general. And I think we have this, exercise has a negative connotation of beating myself up and slaving away, and gyms where it is almost like my office for exercise where I cannot be healthy and active unless I am in my exercise office called the gym. And what that does is it creates like a narrow mindset and along with the negative connotation that exercise has. I have been looking at this and people have a ton of resistance around exercise which leads them to believe that they need all of these tricks and habit tips and all the stuff to make sure that they incorporate it in their life. And the truth is that we really just need a perspective shift on what activity is and what a healthy active lifestyle looks like. So I wrote this article of the concept DWYLT. Do what you love today. And it is basically making a list of stuff that you love to do that is also active. Stuff that you seek out not stuff that you have to talk yourself into. So if you have to talk yourself to go into the gym, if you have to talk yourself into going for a run that stuff should probably be severely limited, if not excluded. And your list should just be made out of things that you love to do and are drawn to do that are also active. And then all you do is wake up today and say, “What would I love to do today that is on this list?” And you go and do it. It is that simple. And completely breaks down the resistance around it. And the other side of this is that all of these things are fulfilling activities. They are not tearing you down. You are not slaving away when you do them. They might be extremely difficult but at the same time they are very fulfilling both mentally and emotionally or spiritually and physically and that is where the real magic happens. When you talk about creating a healthy lifestyle and I always say if I have a client and I work with them we do a bunch of really good work and they get really good results. And I call them in 10 years. I would hate to have them say, “Well, yes, I did not stick with it. I am back to how I was.” That would be a complete failure for me. So where other programs are like yes you know, we are going to take you through 4 months and you are going to have this new body. And then I am never going to hear from you again. That is not me. Like I want to hear from people in 10 years that they are still doing this stuff and their lifestyle has still stuck. That is really the goal. So people come to me and they say, “Yes I am doing CrossFit six days a week.” And I am like, is that really sustainable?
Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Kevin Geary: Are you going to be doing CrossFit 6 days a week in 10 years? No! But DWYLT, you could easily be doing 10 years from now. Now the things on your list may have changed but that concept will stick with you until the day that you die. You can be eighty and doing the DWYLT concept. You cannot be eighty doing CrossFit six days a week.
Baris Harvey: Yes, definitely. That sounds awesome. It is funny that you mentioned that because a lot of clients that I work with just because I work from a long distance I am not there physically training them. But usually I will look up on Google and find like an MMA Gym or something of that sort. So that way they can do like kick boxing class so that way they can be active at something that they enjoy as well. And it is funny because oftentimes we go to the gym for our certain goal and oftentimes it is like what are you training for and you never get to that event. But if you join that MMA Gym and you do kickboxing like everyday you are training, you are also doing the action or if you are signed up to an adult soccer league like everyday that you are training there and you are practicing but you are also doing the thing.
Kevin Geary: Yes.
Baris Harvey: Whereas when you are working out you are just kind of going through the motion. You are training but there is not actually like a goal.
Kevin Geary: Right. Absolutely. And the DWYTL concept also gives you the opportunity to have a ton of variety. So I actually pulled up the article. I will just run down my personal list real quick. So we have walking, sprinting, cycling, swimming, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, MMA, slacklining, rock climbing, hiking, Yoga, running, flag football, ultimate frisbee and sandbag resistance training. So when I wake up I look at this list and I say, “What would I love to do out of this list today?” And there is so much variety that I always find something. And like you said, a lot of these things on this list are things you are actively doing or training for and getting better at or they are challenging. And they are fun, they are sports. You are competing. So there is that component as well. Now, some people might hear that list and say, “Oh, wait a minute. Kevin, you’ve got exercise stuff in there.” Like I heard about sprinting, that is just exercise. I heard about sandbag resistance training, that is just exercise. And the thing is, sometimes I really love to exercise. And sometimes I really love to sprint. Now, if I went out and say, “I am going to sprint every Friday at 1 pm.” And I get to Friday and I do not feel like sprinting what is going to happen? It is not going to happen or I may have to use willpower or some other trick to make it happen. If I do not do it I feel guilty about not doing it. I will start to beat myself up. We will have this negative self-talk issue creep in. Look, DWYLT takes away all that stuff. You just wake up and say what on this list what I love to do and I go do it. I do not care what it is, we are just going to go do it and we are going to have fun.
Justin Marchegiani: And that makes a lot of sense, Kevin. And like with myself, I find that I just get so busy and so kind of like tunnel vision on what I am doing. If I do not have something on my schedule, it is just I forget and I just get, “oh!” you know and the day is over. So how do you deal with people that just need to put it on their schedule? So they can do it, so that they can make the time for it. Because the key thing is you need to have the time to do all this things. How do you handle that?
Kevin Geary: Right, well, a couple of these things are automatically scheduled for me. So for instance, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, like I cannot control when I train. My gym tells me here is your Brazilian Jiu-jitsu time and day and these are your options. So on a Sunday or something I will kind of look at the week that is ahead of me and I will say, “Alright, I really want to hit a couple of days Brazilian Jiu-jitsu here.” So, bang! Like that day and time is already done and I have to schedule and make it available. Some days, I will wake up, and what I have done is in my schedule, and this is probably a good lesson for people, too. There is this concept I teach of margin, of creating margin in your life. And margin is the extra room, right? And you can fill margin with whatever you would like. So maybe something pops up and you, you know people always, “Oh, I do not have time for that,” right? “My schedule is too full.” And that is like we pass up all of the things that really make us healthy because we have no margin in our life. So I have a lot of margin in my schedule. So it is really never an issue where I say, “Well, I just do not have time for something today.” There is always just this chunk of like time I could do whatever I want with. So if I do not have anything scheduled for that day, I will stick some walking in there or I will stick a sprint in there or whatever. And I recommend that people really work to create more margin in their life. I actually have a free workbook on that that people can do. It is a huge part of my program as well where we really dive deep and make sure that people do the work in that area because without margin you get all the excuses. And margin by the way, is not just in time. There are eight key areas of life where I focus on helping people make margin. You can make margin in your relationships. You can make margin in your time. You can make margin in your finances. Finances being a good one for being healthy, too. Because how many times do we hear the excuse, “I do not have enough money to eat healthy, right?”
Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Kevin Geary: It is too expensive. Well, if you do not have enough margin in your finances. If you have more margin in your finances, guess what? This would not be an issue. If you have more margin in your time, you would be able to get your walks in and your other activities in. So this lack of margin is actually another huge epidemic that we are facing in our modern society and it is something I want people to tackle.
Justin Marchegiani: And how much do you think values and priorities are the problem? Like the person may have $120 a month IPhone bill or they may go have their Starbucks latte every morning. And the money is there it is just that priority or value is just lower on the list. How do we update values?
Kevin Geary: Yes. So this is a huge problem, you know. We have a lot of people who want stuff; they are just not willing to get it, right?
Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Kevin Geary: And yes, so the first thing I do when people join my program is I have them make what I call “Big Whys”. And these are whys that they spend a good chunk of time on. So they inevitably when people signup their little whys are: I want to lose weight. I want to get healthier. I want to do this. And they might even have some specificity to those things. But those are not big whys. So the problem people face with motivation is that when the road gets tough and it will get tough, none of this is easy. I lost 60+ pounds and I can tell you that there is a lot of low points in that process. So when the going gets tough you are going to have to look at the reasons why you are doing this. And if your reason for doing this, your biggest reasons for doing this is to get into a bikini for the summer that is not going to cut it, like it is such an easy goal to give up on. When something goes wrong such an easy goal to just toss up the window, right? Well I have one of my big whys just to give you an example. When my daughter was born I was looking at these issues again and I was saying, “Wow! You know, there is a good chance that I am not going to be around to see some of the later years that my daughter has and that would be a tragedy to me. So every time I am doing something with my body or thinking about nutrition or thinking about activity I am always also thinking about her and aside from that how can I be the best leader for her. How can I be the best role model for how to live a healthy life? That is a huge why for me. And everybody says, “Well, I lost motivation.” You cannot lose motivation when you have a two year old daughter depending on you.
Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Kevin Geary: Number one to be there and number two to be a role model. So that is a huge why. And I do not think people think about those deep enough and that really helps to get those priorities in order.
Justin Marchegiani: That makes a lot of sense. And I want to follow up one last question on that. So it sounds like you are saying if we make our why bigger the what and the how is not as important. It is really focusing on that big why, is that correct?
Kevin Geary: Yes, the big why is the sustainability factor. The big why is the motivation factor. I always use the extreme example of people with cancer or diagnosed with cancer and your doctor laid out a plan for you and says, “Look, this is your best shot right here. If you do this plan there is a good chance that you are going to come out of this.” And you say, “Okay, doc I am going home.” Now will this person call the doctor in four weeks and go, “I lost my motivation. I just do not know what to do.” Like no! Their life depends on them following that plan. It depends on it.
Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Kevin Geary: There is no way they would lose motivation in that paradigm. So that is a huge why, right? Well, we do not have to be diagnosed with cancer to have big whys. We just have to look a little bit deeper in our life and really sort those priorities out.
Baris Harvey: Uh-humm. Definitely. And I love that example because I actually use that a lot. I had a client who had PCOS and really, really, really badly wanted to have a baby and tried so many times and could not. And so when she came to me I knew that she had a big reason why. Whereas I have had clients before say, “Hey, I have a reunion coming up next month could I drop like x amount of pounds?” And I am like, “I am sorry and I am not going to work with you.”
Kevin Geary: Right.
Baris Harvey: Definitely. Earlier, you mentioned something that I want to get back to. You talked about ends. You said the negative self-thought to automatic negative thoughts, right?
Kevin Geary: Uh-humm.
Baris Harvey: Could you go a little bit into what that is? Because you briefly mentioned it but I want to make sure our listeners know what negative self-thought is.
Kevin Geary: Yes, anytime thoughts are running through your head where you are kind of tearing yourself down. So this happens mostly when people get on scales which is why I have not ditched scales. It also happens when they look at themselves in the mirror. It happens when they put certain things in their mouth. So they might walk by the mirror and look in and say, “God, I am so fat.” Or “God I am so this or that…”, or just any message that goes through their head that is tearing themselves down rather than building themselves up. And these negative thoughts slowly chip away at you and they manipulate your behavior. So, one example is when you have a lot of negative self-thought running through your head and you believe or you feel that you are not worth the time and the effort that you are putting in to this. That is a big reason why people quit. That is a big reason why people throw in the towel. It is a big reason why people binge. So that stuff has to be addressed and healed. A lot of people especially if they are very low on the self-awareness scale may not even realize how much this is affecting them and manipulating their behavior. Other people do realize it but they do not know what to do about it. So those are the exact messages that go through peoples’ head and a lot of these are spawned from these toxic beliefs that people have. Toxic beliefs are like core visceral beliefs about yourself that trigger this negative self-thought and that is like the root of negative self-thought. That is how we start addressing it and getting rid of negative self-thought. That can go all the way back to childhood how your parents talked to you. How your teachers talked to you. Any adverse childhood experiences that you had. So all these stuff had to be sorted out but yes it is a self-sabotage trigger.
Baris Harvey: Yes, exactly. One thing that I noticed and might be one of the big self-sabotage triggers at least in our community would probably be perfectionism.
Kevin Geary: Uh-hmm.
Baris Harvey: We search out for all these different ideas and how to make sure that we have the perfect food and the perfect exercise and perfect everything. And sometimes when we do not do what we considered to be perfect we start to almost shame ourselves like, “Wow! Like I just ate this thing that is like not gluten-free or something crazy and you know, blow up and now it really goes downhill. Could you speak a little bit on perfectionism and how we can kind of adjust our ideas to help us out there?
Kevin Geary: Yes, again I think it is really important to look at the root of this stuff. We do not just end up as perfectionists. There is not just this section of the population that got the perfectionism disease or something. Unfortunately, our cultural paradigm around raising children causes most of this stuff. So perfectionism is basically approval seeking, right? I need to do things perfect so I can get somebody’s approval. And this goes back to childhood when we are always searching for parents’ approval especially if our parents are operating in this reward-punishment paradigm where love becomes kind of conditional. You know, based on did you do a good job? Oh, therefore you get attention. Did you not do a good job? Therefore, you get punished or avoided or isolated or something like that. And the brain starts trying to figure out, “Okay, what do I do to get this approval and this love that I so desperately crave? And that paradigm is carried into adulthood very easily. So people are always trying to be perfect continuing to seek that approval and love from others. It is a very subconscious thing but that is the trigger for it. So we cannot just say, “Alright, how do I start not caring about the quality of worth or how can I make a little slip up and a mistake and not carry that into a binge because of the shame and the guilt that comes along with it? We really have to go back and discuss what happened and why we are seeking approval and why we feel like that people do not approve of us or we need their approval. There are a lot of different paradigms that have to be sorted out there.
Justin Marchegiani: That is a really an interesting stuff, Kevin and a couple of things that I wanted to address because we are talking about mindset and I think we have not really talked about the subconscious mind. And it is important because according to research 90% of our thoughts occur in the subconscious mind. And we know that 90% of our thinking of all thoughts, in general, are negative. So there are a lot stinking thinking going on and it is tough because a lot of people they just feel like they only can control so little of the conscious. So what are the things that we can do to help with the subconscious? And I am just going to throw a couple of things out there. I personally use hypnosis. I use self-mastery technology. I use EFT and various tapping techniques and affirmation and meditation to work on my subconscious because I know it is like a garden. You never ever have to grow weeds. Weeds automatically grow and weeds are the negative thoughts. So I want to get your take on what you do with your clients and yourself to train your subconscious?
Kevin Geary: Yes. So a lot of things that you just said I recommend to people and experiment with and see what benefits they can get out of it. Personally for me and with working with clients especially when we do this online, the best thing that I have found is building more self-awareness. And the way that we do that is through journaling exercises. So I want to get the exact messages that are going through peoples’ heads onto paper and then I want to see it. And I want it to be as raw as possible and as detailed as possible and then that becomes the curriculum. Like that becomes the material that we work through as far as mindset goes. And we go back and I give them an adverse childhood experiences survey. They go down a list and they add up a score based on adverse experiences that they possibly went through in childhood. We add that into the mix. We start talking about and bringing awareness to all these stuff. And then we bring philosophy into the mix. So philosophy is kind of like finding the truths in life. A lot of people try to make up this concept of what their life is and the storyline. And a lot of it is very fictional because the non-fiction side of things the truth is too painful for them to think about and to consider. So we use philosophy to really go in and say, “Alright, what is the actual truth here?” Because the truth is the only thing that is going to allow us to do the important work that we need to do to get to freedom. And if we continue with this fictional account of our life nothing is going to get done, right? And that is the equivalent to burying your head in the sand. So the first step is self-awareness. Do the journaling, getting it as raw and detailed as possible and then using the philosophy to parcel that and really focus on the truth and what the truth means in our life.
Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. I see a lot of that as you are consciously thinking about the things that you journal down. You are consciously looking at the things that you are responsible for in your life. Is there anything else that you do on the subconscious level?
Kevin Geary: No, but I will say that the more self-awareness you build the more you are able to like consciously understand what is happening with your subconscious, right?
Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Kevin Geary: Like there is a deafness scale to what is going on and how your body is responding to the world around you and so on. So if you are like a 9 out of 10 you are almost completely deaf to how your subconscious is manipulating your behavior and your conscious thoughts and so on. Then yes, that is an issue, right? And the more self-awareness we can build the less deaf you become and the more you can sort this stuff out.
Justin Marchegiani: Right. Right. So philosophy is really important. Taking accountability seems to be a really, really important thing. So if someone is listening to the show right now and they feel like their mindset is not 100% on point, what is the best or the easiest thing they can do off the bat to shift their mindset?
Kevin Geary: There are a couple of things that you do. One is around food. The other, so the base technique that I use or the base thing I would recommend would be to start journaling everything that you eat. Everything that you put in your mouth, just write it down. That builds awareness around food. And then aside from that which you are going to run into is when you are eating these thoughts are going to start going to your head. And I do not know what they are, they are different for everybody. But these messages are you either going to struggle? Or you are going to say, “Wow! This is easier than I thought.” Or you are going to have other negative self-talk come in. All of that stuff needs to be journaled and written down. And what I have them do so one practical exercise is that anytime there is negative self-talk and you have written that down, it is important not at the same time, but that night before you go to bed, you review those messages that you wrote down and you write the truth next to them and you start reprogramming how your brain is thinking during the day. And after you have done this for a while, you are going to notice the negative self-talk messages decrease in quantity and they even start to be manipulated. So your brain will like self-correct and it will say, “No, no, no, that’s not the truth. That’s not the truth.” And then you will automatically start telling yourself the truth in the moment and that is really important for progress.
Justin Marchegiani: That makes a lot of sense, too because I have a lot of my patients do food diaries. And it is very interesting because you always get this belabored like, “Oh, I really, I got to do that?” And when they do it, it is amazing because it is more for them than it is for me. It is for me for the accountability aspect and to make sure that they are doing the right thing. But then they are like, “Wow! I am going 6 or 7 hours without eating. My blood sugar is dropping.” Or, “I noticed that when I eat gluten, you know that next day, I feel like crap.” Or, “Hey, you know, I am eating really low fat. I am eating paleo but I am eating boneless skinless chicken breast and I am eating too lean.” Or they are not eating enough calories in general and it is amazing just writing things down. It really does bring things more of a conscious mind and creates a high level of awareness.
Kevin Geary: Yes and when you add the psychology side into that, so you know, people are always in my program they are writing down, “Yes, I am eating boneless chicken breast and the things that you just said. And then on top of that, they are writing down things like, “I really wish I was eating ice cream right now.” And I think the reason I wish I was eating ice cream right now is because I am highly stressed, because I just had an argument with my boss and I don’t feel like he is listening to me. And this stress, I am noticing this stress is triggering this ice cream craving in me.” And then they just continue to explore that deeper and deeper and deeper and they start to find connections to previous areas of their life and they start to really sort out why triggers happened, when they tend to happen. That gives us a game plan for navigating around them or making sure they do not happen next time. So, this is yes, it is like a food journal on steroids, right?
Justin Marchegiani: Uh-humm.
Baris Harvey: Yes.
Kevin Geary: It just gives us so much more information that we can work with.
Baris Harvey: It almost sounds like you are kind of being, you are having almost this dialogue with yourself where you are being investigative and asking the question why, more like why I am having this feeling and digging deeper into it versus just, oh, I am craving this food. I feel bad. I feel fat versus why do I feel this way and maybe it is more so because of like you mentioned earlier maybe I want somebody’s approval or maybe it is this and this and this. So that is awesome.
Kevin Geary: Yes. One thing I will just interject.
Baris Harvey: Yes. Go ahead.
Kevin Geary: You know, people tend to just always be inside themselves. So when that guilt or that shame pops up they really feel it intensely and then they allow it to manipulate their behavior rather than when you start doing this type of journaling, you kind of almost step outside of your body. Like you see yourself there eating and you notice in yourself that there is this shame and this guilt but you are able to, like you just said, sort it out and ask why? That is a question people do not ask of themselves a lot. They are just so intensely feeling what they feel that there is no exploration there. They just feel it, allow it to manipulate their behavior. And then they move on to this other tangent of behavior whereas they can learn to just kind of be separated from themselves for a minute, really explore what is going on and get a lot of valuable information out of that. And that is the side that people are missing.
Baris Harvey: Yes. I think that is great. I think it is really important for our listeners to take this advice on journal rather than I feel like, it is almost like you just put your head down and just give up and feel everything and just be in the moment versus kind of like what you said stepping aside and staying away, I can control this and I can have a conversation with myself. But you know, speaking on that, when people do, I mean fall off the wagon while they are doing their 30-day whatever kind of transition and they feel like they fall off the wagon. Oftentimes people feel like, “Oh, I am a failure. I failed.” They have the shame again. What are some of the things that you are in for yourself or your clients as well? When you fall off the wagon, what are some of the things that you do to make sure that you get back on to the right path?
Kevin Geary: Right. The concept of falling off the wagon is a little complicated. And my answer for it is a little abstract. But a lot of times, the falling off the wagon mindset has to do with the shame and the guilt that is involved in errors and not being perfect and not following the “plan to a tee”. And they are used to these diets and these models of, “Oh, you are just not doing it well enough that is why you are failing or that is why you are not making x amount of progress.” And I think when you remove the expectations at the beginning and you remove all shame and guilt triggers, so I am very clear with people that when they do something that they were not necessarily proud of or happy with behavior, they can come to me with it and there is going to be no guilt involved, there is going to be no shame involved. We are just going to talk it through kind of like we are, again, having that conversation outside of ourselves to just about what happened. So when there is no shame and there is no guilt involved then people are allowed to be and encouraged to be compassionate for themselves and patient with themselves. So another problem is setting people up for failure with the concept of how quickly they are going to get to results or promising certain results, right? So they automatically feel when that does not happen that they are not on track or they are doing something wrong. All of that stuff has to be removed. It is more of a concept of we are leading people to failure or setting them up for failure. We need to make sure that we clear the path of all that nonsense and let them have this understanding that there is no wagon. Like there are just behaviors day to day, that’s it. And we just have to look at consistently making better behaviors and better decisions and how do we go about that. I do not understand the concept of falling off the wagon because it is just life that is all we are dealing. There is no wagon, right? It is just life. Every day you wake up you have an opportunity to make better decisions or new decisions or whatever you want to do. So it is not like, you know, there is this wagon that is going to leave you behind. So I just want to change people’s paradigm around that and just have them see that every single day you wake up is an opportunity to make different decisions and different behaviors. There is no wagon.
Baris Harvey: Definitely. Sounds good. Dr. Justin you want to go ahead and take it from here?
Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Sounds great. I have a couple more questions here and then we will close things up. I know I always tell my patients that they are only one decision away from getting back on track. So let us say they make a bad decision, they are only one decision away from being right back on that path. And I know I also tell my patients that it takes no more effort to get what you do not want than what it does to get what you do want. Meaning it is all about habit. So how much in the thinking and the mindset is your overcoming some habits where the whole idea of habits, our habits are like cobwebs in the beginning and then they turn into chains the more you do it. So how much of it is just getting things into habitual state? How much of that are you focusing on here, Kevin?
Kevin Geary: A lot. The thing is I do not call them habits and I do this for a reason. I mean there is a lot of confusion around how habits are made, how long habits take to form, why they are so hard to break and all that. So I choose a different route. And my goal is not to get people to new habits. My goal is to get them into perspective shifts.
Justin Marchegiani: Uh-humm.
Kevin Geary: When you have a shift in perspective all the other stuff does not matter, right?
Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Kevin Geary: And all the science about habits does not matter. If I have this perspective of this is who I am. I make these choices in life. Then those choices are easy to make or their habits or whatever you want to call them.
Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Kevin Geary: It does not really matter, right? So the problem is having a perspective of I struggle. I am overweight. I am this I am that. I am not capable. My body is not set for change. I do not have a fast metabolism. Okay all those are different perspectives. We need to work to get people to the perspective of “I can do this” and then to the perspective of “I am this”. And when they get to the perspective of “I am this” willpower is not necessary. This entire lifestyle is very easy to carry out. So it is not like I wake up in the morning and struggle with what I am going to eat or not eating doughnuts for breakfast. I used to struggle with that. I had a completely different perspective on all of these. Now I have a new perspective and it is very simple and it is very easy. It is kind of the shopping thing that we talked about.
Baris Harvey: Uh-humm.
Kevin Geary: So when perspective changes it is effortless and we do not need to worry about anything else. So getting them to those perspective shifts are really important.
Baris Harvey: You know that reminds me, I told somebody kind of something very similar to this. When it came to me and working out, I tell them well I do not necessarily have to force myself to workout because I am a collegiate football player. That is just something that I do that is a part of who I am.
Kevin Geary: Uh-humm.
Baris Harvey: And I wake up in the morning and say, “Well, if I want to be the best athlete I could be I workout.” And then so it is almost like changing your perspective like you said, you consider yourself like, “Oh, I am a fat kid,” which I used to be. I used to think like, “Oh well, I am going to go eat Chinese food and eat the entire giant portion that they give me because that is who I am. I do not do that anymore obviously but that is kind of like the perspective I had because, whoa! That is who I was.
Kevin Geary: Right.
Baris Harvey: And it almost changing that like, “Oh, I am a healthy person. So what does a healthy person do?”
Kevin Geary: Right. Yes. So, I am an entrepreneur, right? I wake up in the morning and my perspective of life is like, “What am I going to do inside that paradigm?” What are my behaviors going to be? And it is just very easy to do it. If I was stuck in a 9 to 5 job working 40 hours a week and had no autonomy over, you know, some people are able to do that. Some people love to be in that paradigm. Some people look at entrepreneurship and go, “Wow! That is way too risky, I could never do that.” So going to work for them is very comfortable and it is very easy. It would be completely uncomfortable for me. We just have two different perspectives on work, right? So, you know, do I need willpower, habits and all these other stuff to do what I do as an entrepreneur? No. I just love to do it. I am engaged with it, it is who I am. Therefore, it gets done. And the thing that people need to understand, the powerful part of this is that perspectives can change. So just because you have one perspective now it does not mean you cannot have another perspective later.
Baris Harvey: Uh-humm.
Justin Marchegiani: Yes, that makes a lot of sense. Well, his name is Kevin Geary and you can find him at rebootedbody.com. Kevin’s got a blog. He has got some programs there on the program link. He has also got some free guides and videos and a podcast. Feel free and check him out over there. Kevin, is there any way that our listeners can access more of your information?
Kevin Geary: Everything is on the website and what I always tell people is if they want to shoot me an email, I respond to all the emails that I get. People do not believe me sometimes when I say that but I absolutely do. So if they want to ask a quick question or get some additional insights on anything they are welcome to send me an email.
Justin Marchegiani: Well, thanks so much, Kevin for coming on the show. We really appreciate it.
Kevin Geary: Thank you so much for having me.